Week 3

Hey there! This was the third week of school, and it’s been really nice to begin to settle into a routine. Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks to get the school year going, but things are in full swing, and are feeling comfortable!

On Tuesday, I went to our school’s varsity volleyball game and joined the student section. This was a big game against a well-known program, but we pulled off the win in 4 games! Congratulations to our team, and especially our seniors who have been faithfully leading the team for 4 years. Hoping for a great season!

Thursday, I decided to help hype everybody up for the football game the next day and for seeing the drumline for the first time this year! I made it fun and wore drumline clothes from all 3 of my previous years (shorts, shirt, and later a hoodie). Opinions differed, but it looked pretty fuego if you ask me…

Then came Friday night! It was so great to be back with the band in the stands and back to a greater sense of normalcy! The theme for our student section was “white-out” and the seniors wore togas as part of a longstanding tradition of the student section. The seniors in the marching band wore togas after our halftime show and were free to join the student section in the front row! As well, the band seniors had our senior banner pictures taken, and they are hanging in the stands near where we sit! Below are a bunch of pictures from the game, and below is also my banner picture!

Saturday, I tried pumpkin spice coffee for the first time to see what the hype was about…and I brought a friend the drink too to try it together! Our impression: it does live up to the hype, it’s tangy and sweet with a good fall flavor! I’d give it 8/10 stars, I was pretty impressed.

As well, that same friend and I decided to put into action a creative idea we’ve had for a little while…we call it a “recommen-day” where you choose certain activities, foods, drinks movies, outfit colors, and music for the other person to do throughout the day, based on your own taste! Today was our day to do that, so we took the plunge. I tried an AWESOME breakfast meal: a toasted bagel with cream cheese and a cooked egg on it (a picture is below, it was that good). Later today, I’ll be making chocolate strawberries and watching Swiss Family Robinson upon her recommendations! It’s turning out to be a great day, and I would highly recommend this to anyone, especially as a good way to get to know someone better! It’s a pretty great day with lots of personality behind it and many good times comin’. Shoutout to you, Miss Haynes (:

Praying for continued open doors this year, for grace and peace in this marching band season, and to keep being a light to those around me! It’s gonna be a good year (:

-Luke Wanca

Week 2

Greetings, all! This was the second week of school, and it was fantastic to be back! After continuing to be sick after the first few days of the week, I was glad to return to school and band rehearsal with my friends when I was feeling better and fever-free!

Some of my sick day highlights include doing crossword puzzles, watching all four Hunger Games movies in one day, and lots of napping.

Thursday and Friday were wonderful in my EPIC return to school, and I was met with my smiling friends and warm welcomes all around! Friday night, in particular, was lots of fun: I got to have a personal movie night with some popcorn and a movie recommended by one of my friends. (I’m so grateful that all of my friends have excellent movie recommendations; it makes personal movie nights much more enjoyable when you watch good movies.) I watched Tombstone until about midnight and now highly recommend that movie as well!

On Saturday, the marching band opened up a concert series in the park for our community. We marched down from the school and were supported with cheers, honks from passing cars, and friendly encouragement from those attending the concert series. The drumline played our cadence, and the band played our school song Anchors Aweigh as well as the stand tune Land of 1,000 Dances.

Today at church we prayed for the broken situation going on in Afghanistan as well as the recent earthquake in Haiti. As God has taken me deeper and deeper in this season, I’m especially reminded of the importance of not setting your hope on anything temporary in the world, but instead setting it on the one who already overcame the world. In every affliction, trial, and devastation that the world will throw at us, there is not a single thing that will satisfy except the refuge of our Father, the finished work of Christ, and the encouragement of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. May the Lord increase steadfast faith in Him in my life and in the lives of believers around me.

On the same note, I hope to glorify God in following through with the opportunity to begin a relief fundraiser at school for those affected by the Haitian earthquake; that’s something the Lord has put on my heart to press into, and I look forward to hopefully partnering with the high school to accomplish this goal! If you would partner with me in prayer in this opportunity, I would greatly appreciate that! If you would like to donate on your own accord to help the relief funds, you can do so through Samaritan’s Purse at this link.

1 Timothy 4:10-13 says “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” There is no waste in relationship with God, no unused season or mountain, and He is faithful to encourage us and provide fruit as we work in relationship with Him and through His Spirit.

This coming week, I look forward to leading worship for my peers at my youth group for the first time this year. As well, the marching band is attending and entertaining at our first home football game on Friday! I’m excited for the fun, the excitement, and the blessings that this week may bring.

I leave you this week with a quote I saw and has stuck with me from a kind, God-fearing, and encouraging Christian leader:

“Don’t magnify your problems, magnify your God…he’s got you covered.”

-Dr. Tony Evans

Here’s to a new week of growth, faith, and perseverance!

-Luke Wanca

Week 1

Hello all! This week was the start of things, and the first week of school is out of the way!

Our first day was Monday, which was only a half-length day, but it felt long nonetheless…which means that our first FULL-length day on Tuesday felt like an eternity. Thankfully I got my Costco-sized bag of coffee grounds as a little boost when I need it in the mornings.

This semester I’m enrolled in Film Studies (where you sit and watch a movie for 90 minutes, it’s fantastic), Marching Band (with me and the boyssssss), Personal Finance/Economics (a seniors-only class), and 12th grade English class. All in all, it should be an easy semester! I’m grateful to have the teachers and classmates that I have, and I know that each little thing is an open door that the Lord will use for His good.

Possibly my favorite part of school starting is getting to walk more closely alongside those around me and encourage others where we’re at. As school begins and schedules fill up, it always becomes more stressful and easier to become distracted with each of the little things going on around us. It’s an honor to get to encourage my friends, walk with them in my classes, and even share really dumb or really sweet or really encouraging pictures with them. I’ve been blessed to get to know most of my friends for a few years now, and I look forward to serving them this year how the Lord calls me to.

This week finished really well, except…on Thursday night I wasn’t feeling well after band rehearsal, and since Friday I have been at home sick with a fever ): To me, the worst part of being sick is missing out on doing all of the things I love and being around people at school. I’m doing my best to keep busy around the house, as well as keep up with people over text! If you think of it, please say a prayer or two for this sickly boy shown below…poor guy ):

On the bright side, being sick has given me a chance to try new things and find things to do at home. For instance, I baked a cake by myself for the first time! I’m fairly surprised that it turned out really tasty and that I didn’t completely mess it up! It was very tasty, 10/10.

Despite my fever, I remain confident that He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6) and that I can do all things that I need to do through Christ’s strength, apart from my own weakness (Philippians 4:13). The Lord is truly showing me what surrender looks like in this month, as I remain spiritually humbled, as well as physically humbled in my illness. Praise be to Him who has a plan!

Here’s to a great second week of school (even if it’s at home for me) and seeing what the Lord has in store during this time!

-Luke Wanca

The Prologue: Part 3

Hello all! This has been a wonderful last week until school starts to catch my breath and allow for time to settle in.

I got the opportunity to meet for coffee with a good friend and mentor of mine as well as go to the school to pick up my school-given laptop and parking pass (Hooray for parking in the senior parking lot! It’s much closer to the school.)

In addition, I added a new plant to my small collection on my dresser! It’s a Myrtle Topiary that I named Noah. My first plant is a cactus named David, and my other is a zebra plant that I named June. I like having a little bit of life in my room, so it’s always nice to add some more green to the scene (:

The highlight of the week, however, was definitely my friend’s annual waffle and ice cream breakfast before school starts! It’s a wonderful family tradition that they keep each year (this year is the 13th annual breakfast), and I’m blessed to be invited to it for another year and get to take part in such a fun day with good friends around me.

As August began this week, the Lord has put on my heart to step intentionally into a time of deep digging, surrendering, and allowing Him to mold and disciple me the right way as the year starts. He has granted me with a deep desire to know Him more and turn closer to Him in humility and deep reverence of the work of His grace. One thing God has assured me of this week is the gladness in which He works in His servants. Steadfast love, mercy, and joy reign over us as He works; what a wonder that God works day to day in us. I’m rejoicing in the fact that in merely a month, or even just a week, the Lord can reveal progress that we never would have seen just looking at the here and now. Let not the Law condemn us, friends, but instead hold onto the steadfast hope that the Holy Spirit transforms and works in us as believers.

Chapter 8 in the book of Romans comes to mind as I dig into these things in August: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh” (v. 1-3). We have the hope, the grace, and the daily presence of Jesus to guide us into the righteousness that we could never attain on our own. Continually, His Spirit will move in us, convict us, teach us, uplift us, strengthen us, and encourage us as we do this walk of life with Him. Praise be to God who saved us and chose us as His own!

While I settle into this final year of high school, along with the opportunities and obstacles presented, I would appreciate your continued prayers for a deeper faith, seeking the Lord, and strength in doing so! He is working mighty things. I have confidence that I will come out of this season more chiseled into the image of Christ by the sword of His Spirit, more ambitious to seek His face by His grace and desire alone, and nearer to the One who saved my soul.

Much love and gratitude for you all as we partner in this journey,

-Luke Wanca